February 11, 2016
Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources released a Majority staff report detailing information uncovered during the Committee’s ongoing investigation of the EPA’s Gold King Mine blowout near Silverton, Colorado in August 2015.
The 73-page report documents the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) inaccurate and misleading accounts of the events and decisions that led to the blowout and deconstructs their conflicting accounts
Click here to view the report.
Click here to view appendices.
“When government actions result in harm, it’s our duty to know who was responsible and why decisions failed. They haven’t been forthcoming in this regard,” Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “This report peels back one more layer in what many increasingly view as a pattern of deception on the part of EPA and DOI. We will need heavier efforts to squeeze out the full truth. The agencies continue to withhold information requested by the Committee. They need to come clean and produce the missing documents.”
“After almost six months, we are still trying to get to the bottom of the catastrophic spill and find out who to hold accountable," stated Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Louie Gohmert (R-TX). “If these EPA employees were anything other than government officials, they would have already been on their way to prison wearing orange jumpsuits. This report points out the many inconsistencies within the EPA’s and DOI’s reports on the spill and shines a light on their gross incompetence.”
The Majority’s findings in the report are based on EPA’s Internal Review, released on August 24, 2015, its related Addendum, released on December 8, 2015, the DOI’s Technical Evaluation of the Gold King Mine Incident, released on October 22, 2015, related documents obtained by the Committee from federal agencies and private contractors, and interviews with multiple individuals with firsthand knowledge of the Gold King Mine, the EPA crew’s activities at the site, and the peer review process for the DOI Technical Evaluation.